BUTTE, MT - There's something special about people—especially adults—who seem to embrace the child that inhabits their heart.

92.5 KAAR Country logo
Get our free mobile app

Some may call them immature, others may call them enduring. Some may tell them that they "need to grow up," while others may say that they're "a lot of fun." Whatever camp you fall into, there's no denying that being an adult means being a large kid in a large world with next to no idea what we're doing. It's just the responsibilities that make us "adults." But what about those of us that love to unleash the inner child lying just beneath the surface?

Whether you're someone who takes themselves very seriously or you're someone who couldn't give a crap, you—like all humans—sometimes just need a way to blow off some steam and have some fun. Even the most burly and prideful of us have been known to cut loose like no other. It's just a matter of finding the right thing to do.

For me, I recently found the right thing for me to go out, have some fun, and let my inner child take the reins. I'll give you some hints: it involves lots of water, lots of sun, and an environment that remains unmatched for our little corner of Montana. I'm talking about Ridge Waters Water Park here in Butte.

I gotta be honest, I was a little skeptical at first. I come from a town that, just down the road, had one of the biggest water parks in the state, a place that I spent the majority of my childhood with friends and family. Before they tore it down, it went by the name of Wild Rivers and boy, were its rivers wild. Boasting a lazy river that circumnavigated the entirety of the park, a wave pool that made the nearby beach jealous, and tons of water slides, I was coming from the best of the best.

When I look back on that time, I feel a legit pang of nostalgia in my gut, reminding me of simpler times with an unlimited tap of fun that seems to be impossible to match as an adult. I wonder, Will I ever again feel that deep, unadulterated, childish joy? Is to be an adult to be a serious, focused human, no matter the situation—never allowing oneself to dip into that uncaring freedom? 

So that's what was running through my head when my pre-fiance and I went up to the gates of Ridge Waters for the first time. It's not fair to Ridge Waters for me to expect something that was as complicated as childish joy in an adult. But I was pleasantly surprised.

The first thing I noticed is the sound. Nothing filled the air but raw laughter, shrieks of glee emanating from uncontainable excitement, and the swooshing of hundreds of gallons of water all across the park as if to beckon you to come on in and enjoy the relief only a pool can provide. It was immediately obvious that I was about to have an awesome time.

After finding a spot to place the stuff we brought, the next thing I noticed was the diversity. Kids, adults, couples, families, even just people looking to cool off by themselves: the park had them all. There's something to that, especially since I was fully expecting to see nothing but kids and annoyed parents.

That's the thing: no one was annoyed. No one was yelling at each other, no one was reprimanding their kids (except, of course, for the classic "DON'T RUN!"), and everyone was having a good time. That's when it hit me: even the adults—all of whom who probably work their respective jobs, keep their families together, and "adult" all day long—were out there acting like children, evident by their huge smiles and contagious laughter. I wanted nothing more than to join in on all the fun.

So what's the first thing I do? I hit the waterslide, duh. I was quickly informed by the kids in line that the green/blue (the debate rages on) slide was the fastest and best one. So I went for it, and my life was changed forever. As soon as I shot down that slide like a bat out of Hell, I was letting out giddy shrieks and "whoa"s out of pure enjoyment since that slide really was that freakin' fast. Even me writing this is giving me that residual joy I felt going down that slide.

And that's my whole point: Ridge Waters is the perfect place to let out your inner child, getting out that jubilance that only going down a huge slide, relaxing (or racing) down a lazy river, or climbing a water rock wall can provide. Plus, the super-reasonable price tag of $7 and the affordable concession stand ensure that you won't be breaking the bank to spend an afternoon with your loved ones.

P.S. Pro tip: grab the white bar in front of you and swing yourself down the green (yes, I'm going with green) slide to give yourself an extra boost of momentum.

The Best Places in Montana to Survive the Apocalypse

Killer aliens. Brain-eating zombies. Planet-destructing solar storms. And those are all before Earth or, heck, even its own humans (us) decide to self-destruct. Whatever the apocalypse chooses to usher in its extinction plans, have no fear: Montana's serene and sparse landscapes have you covered.

Gallery Credit: Devon Brosnan

These Are The Most Popular Restaurants In Montana

Montana is jam packed with some of the best food in the country. From fine dining to small, local joints - it's natural that a state with so many locally sourced foods would have such great restaurants.

Gallery Credit: mwolfe

Top 5 RV Parks in Montana

When you need more than just a campground, you might need an RV park! Especially if you like to travel the country in a proper Recreational Vehicle, you need to know where to find good places to park for a few days. Montana is home to some very fine RV parks. Here are some of the best that Montana has to offer when you're on the road.

Gallery Credit: mwolfe

More From 92.5 KAAR Country